A niche blog dedicated to the issues that arise when supplementary protection certificates (SPCs) extend patents beyond their normal life -- and to the respective positions of patent owners, investors, competitors and consumers. The blog also addresses wider issues that may be of interest or use to those involved in the extension of patent rights. You can email The SPC Blog here

Wednesday 22 June 2011

SPC Seminar 2011

A big thank you to everyone who attended the Third SPC Blog Seminar at Olswang's offices yesterday and made the afternoon such a success. We hope to provide a video of the meeting and copies of the slides on this site shortly.

A theme running through a lot of the presentations is that there is still a good number of questions to entertain the CJEU in relation to this "wretched regulation". This was graphically illustrated by Patricia Cappuyns (Olswang), who noted that even courts in the same territory (the lively jurisdiction of Belgium in this case) can "politely disagree" on the interpretation of the regulation, never mind courts in different jurisdictions.

Nicola Jadeja (Rouse), discussed the recent CJEU hearing on Medeva and highlighted the potential differences between one-pot (e.g. Medeva) versus co-administration combinations (e.g, Takeda). Nicole vividly described the CJEU as a bit like Eurovision - flags, crowds, interpreters...

After an epic 18-month trek (involving, snow and diverted flights to random British airports nowhere near London) Javier Huarte (Grau & Angulo) was eventually able to give his delayed presentation on SPCs in Spain. Javier reminded us of the fact that it was not possible to obtain SPCs for products that obtained approval before 2 July 1997, meaning that SPCs in Spain for a number of products was sadly not possible. However, if approval was obtained after this date on a patent filed before mid-1986 (when ES patents had 20 year term from grant), the 5 year SPC that could be obtained provides these lucky products with significantly longer protection in Spain than in most other EU states.

Hugh Goodfellow and Ed Oates (Carpmaels & Ransford) provoked a lot of debate following their presentation of the Neurim questions and the possibility that this could lead to SPCs being obtainable more generally for the second medical use of a substance that has previously obtained a Marketing authorisation.

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